Thank you Steve for killing Flash. I know you told everyone it was about support. I think I know the truth though. A truth you never publicly admitted. I don’t imagine you’ll let me know if I was right. But I know that there are plenty who agree with me.
It wasn’t the software was it? It wasn’t the bugs in flash, it wasn’t the security holes, or the power consumption. Those were all just the lip service being paid to hide the true reason: you were afraid of flash.
Flash allowed a web page to do everything that Apple was trying to control: stream movies and music, and provide a tight user experience. You didn’t want that to happen. If those things were able to be provided by a website running flash, then Apple wouldn’t get its 30% cut.
Here’s the crazy part though: by killing off flash, you created an even stronger competitor: the web. Before the death of flash, the web was always a secondhand user experience. It was clunky. Very few people were doing things with HTML user experiences that were truly amazing. But when flash died, it’s almost like the entire industry started focusing on making HTML a better development platform. And focus they did.
HTML5, CSS3, ECMAScript 6, Canvas, SVG, responsive design, media elements. All of these together have made the web an amazing place to go. No app to download, no questionable permissions to agree to (well, except for location).
The thing is, native has always provided a better experience, but there are just so many times that a well designed mobile site is better. If you would have gotten what you wanted Steve, for everyone to have an iPhone, and the internet to simply be a way that data for IOS apps is transmitted, we would have been much worse off. So many companies can build a web app once, for desktop and mobile, forget about an IOS or Android app, and spend the resources they WOULD have had to spend on IOS, instead making their core product better.
We DO need native apps for lots of stuff. And you were an amazing visionary, showing companies that high quality could still be mass market and profitable. And we’re all better for it.
And when you killed flash, you made the world a better place too. Just not for the reasons you were intending.